COVID-19 Public Health Updates and Indoor Gatherings
Now more than halfway through the fall semester, we have observed the continued success of COVID-19 mitigation measures, which have allowed us to relax some precautionary measures and expand campus services.
October 20, 2021
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community,
Now more than halfway through the fall semester, we have observed the continued success of COVID-19 mitigation measures, which have allowed us to relax some precautionary measures and expand campus services, most notably by opening student dining halls to indoor dining on October 13.
Within New York City as a whole, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been declining as vaccination uptake continues to rise. In our own on-campus community, Columbia’s COVID-19 testing positivity rates remain consistently below 0.5% and our community is over 99.9% compliant with the vaccination mandate.
With these positive developments in mind, we will ease capacity restrictions on gatherings for Columbia affiliates, expanding opportunities for activities like student club events, performances, and social gatherings. On November 1, all indoor gatherings for the Columbia community will have attendance caps lifted, with the exception of indoor sporting events, which will be limited to 70% capacity. Only events with outside guests will continue to have attendance caps; approval is still required for requested exceptions for those events. Food services at all events will remain grab-and-go.
As people spend more time indoors as temperatures drop and the holidays approach, other safety measures are more important than ever.
Thus, we are extending the indoor mask requirement, which provides an important layer of protection for our community. Keep in mind that you may remove your mask to eat or drink indoors, but you must maintain six feet of distance from others and minimize time unmasked. This will continue at least through the end of November.
We also ask you to keep the ReopenCU app handy and complete daily symptom attestation before coming to campus. Please refrain from coming to work or class if you don’t feel well.
Those who travel for the holidays are encouraged to do so with caution and take advantage of voluntary testing before and after travel.
The President’s Task Force on COVID-19 will continue monitoring changing public health conditions daily and will assess the University’s safety measures accordingly. As always, we will keep you updated through announcements and our COVID-19 Resources website.
Thanks to every member of our community for taking care of each other through masking, daily symptom attestation, compliance with the vaccination mandate, and other important measures. Here’s to a continued safe, healthy, and successful fall.
Mary C. Boyce
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, CUIMC
University COVID Director